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Go Green This Earth Day

Go Green This Earth Day

Go Green This Earth Day

By Joanne Richard

Earth Day is great. Earth Everyday is even better! April 22 is an opportunity to celebrate our planet and commit to making eco-friendly choices in our daily lives. Going green doesn’t have to be daunting or involve a complete lifestyle overhaul. Small changes can lead to a big impact and a cleaner, healthier planet for everyone.

Curbing plastic pollution is this year’s theme – billions upon billions of plastic items are choking oceans, clogging landfills, littering landscapes and beaches, reports, and gravely harming human health and vital ecosystems.

Toxic microplastics are showing up everywhere. We’re inhaling and eating plastics and their chemicals. They’re in our air, soil, food and drinking water. A new study by Columbia University reports that one litre of bottled water (that’s two standard water bottles) contains nearly a quarter-million tiny plastic particles.

Consume with a conscious

We’re churning out more than a trillion pounds of plastics a year with 14 million tons ending up in our oceans – at that rate, it’s estimated that by 2050, oceans will contain more plastics than fish. Recycling isn’t working! Only 9% of total plastic is recycled, and the process pollutes the air. We need to end mass plastic production, reuse what we have and find eco-friendly alternatives.

Do your part by cutting out single-use plastics. Reuse planet-friendly, refillable water bottles and fill with filtered tap water. Bring a travel mug for your daily coffee run. Use cloth bags for groceries. Refuse single-use plastics like cutlery, straws and cups when you can.

The planet needs our help so lend a hand. Along with diminishing plastics consumption, there are so many ways to be kind to our planet. Some home changes may require getting someone else to lend you a hand and a home maintenance company can help with that. Together, we can make a difference.

Tips For a More Energy-efficient Home on Earth Day

Keep things running properly. When you replace outdated appliances, buy energy-efficient models. If a new appliance isn’t in your budget, then be sure to keep things well maintained. Check fridge door seals, empty ice accumulation and keep coils clean. Maintain your HVAC system and keep air ducts clean to keep bills down and everyone breathing easier. Seasonal maintenance also includes replacing furnace filters. Switch out to LED light bulbs.

Save energy by turning your thermostat down in the winter when you’re sleeping or out, and same goes for using less AC when no one’s around. A programable thermostat helps with optimal efficiency. Getting professional help to tackle small projects like sealing leaks and adding insulation can save on energy and money.

Window coverings are a boon to energy conservation. In total, about 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows, and curtains can reduce heat loss by more than 40%.

Reduce Your Foodprint

Walk or cycle for short distances. Trade your gas-guzzling car for an EV or hybrid model. Having online meetings lessens the carbon footprint. About 24% of Canada’s harmful emissions come from transportation.

Reduce your foodprint. Eat less meat and dairy – they contribute bigtime to global warming. Go vegetarian a few times a week. Switch out meat for plant-based proteins like lentils, tofu, chickpeas, and chia and hemp seeds. Also east more seasonal, locally-sourced food.

Recycle food scraps. They’re flavourful and good for you, and the environment too. Foods that end up in landfills produce methane, a toxic greenhouse gas. You can easily upcycle food scraps like celery, carrot and radish tops, carrot peels, and asparagus, broccoli and herb trimmings into soups, fruit and veggie peels into chutneys, and pineapple cores, apple, lemon and orange peels into citrusy tea creations. Use stale bread for croutons.

Don’t leave the faucet running when brushing your teeth – 42% of us do and it wastes 64 glasses of water each time you brush for two minutes. Fix leaky faucets and install water-reducing shower heads. Use cold water for washing and rinsing your laundry, and dry your clothes on an outdoor clothesline in the warmer months.

Maintain Your Yard And Lawn

Plant trees, make your gardens pollinator friendly, and maintain your yard and grass to promote ecological balance and healthier lives. Lawn grass helps clean the air, improves soil, removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while giving back oxygen, reduces erosion, decreases noise pollution and regulates temperatures. Recycle clippings by mulching and leaving on the lawn to decompose.

Declutter responsibly when you spring clean. If you’re getting rid of clothing, old decorations or furniture, don’t add to the landfills. Instead host a garage sale, sell them online or donate them to a non-profit thrift store.

Choose refillable, eco-friendly cleaning products for your home on earth day. Some top cleaning sprays get the job done but their harmful chemicals can negatively impact your health and the environment.

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